Friday, June 30, 2006
It's hard to feel patriotic when you're against the war your nation's fighting. That's a short-sighted view, I realize; for example, I had trouble enjoying any kind of national pride on Memorial Day, when I should've been looking beyond the damn Middle East to all the other wars our country has fought in to preserve our freedoms. So sue me; I've got a cousin in AIT at Fort Gordon, probably headed to the sandbox on his next hitch.
But I'm a huge fan of the movie "Yankee Doodle Dandy," consider it Cagney's best, and an excellent interpretation of a bygone era, so I'll probably pop that in the VCR this weekend to help remind myself how this is still the best country on the planet in which to reside.
It's Friday before a 4-day weekend, a knowledge that brings a rather orgasmic smile to my face. Time to clean some house, get some sun, look ahead a bit, do some knitting, get some rest. Keep from drinking. Energize/motivate the husby. Maybe start working on my bike. I've been wanting to clean the rust off the sucker for a while now, have the supplies, just gotta bring it in, take it apart, and start in on it. It may not be worth it, but I'm going to try to salvage it; take everything apart and clean it down, reinflate the tires. It's been exposed to the elements for far too long, which is why I say it may not be worth it; it's only a Magna from Target, not a Cannondale or anything.
The brake calipers are a shade different than what I'm used to, but everything else is standard. I lived on a bicycle back in college; even though I had a car, most of my campus travel occurred on 2 wheels, was just easier than dealing with parking. I'd love to get back to using it more, stick a basket or bag on it for grocery shopping and such. Jacksonville absolutely blows for bike paths and sidewalks in my area, but I'm still not walking nearly enough and something's gotta give.
Probably can't start Folly this weekend, no $ for needles :(
Just had an exquisite thought.....a Knitpicks credit card. aaaaaahhhhhhh......
ehem, as I was saying, my Western crave may get served again this weekend, as Hallmark is playing the first Lonesome Dove straight through Sunday afternoon/evening and HBO is playing the first 3 episodes of Deadwood sometime this weekend too...neat! Also, Terra & co. are looking to get rid of a dresser (one less thing to move), and in spite of our complete lack of space for another stick of furniture in our apartment, I want to take it off their hands. We need it badly; Les and I are fighting for shirt space in our respective dressers, and I dream of the day when I have a different vessel for keeping the winter stuff in, because the plastic piece of shit that currently houses it absolutely isn't moving up with us next year. If you'll excuse me, the organizational wheels in my head are turning...
graphic courtesy of http://www.usahistory.org
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Subtitle: How soon we forget, or Reason #614 why I don't want my kids in public school...
Yeah, like private school's any better nowadays...
I saw Dawn Anna last year when it first came out on Lifetime™, I'm guessing around the 5-year anniversary of Columbine. Dawn Anna is the true story of a mother of 4 who contracts a form of cranial vasculitis and the resulting surgeries force her to relearn everything from talking to eating. Fast-forward 5 years, she's recovered, but still symptomatic (severe vertigo, concentration issues), engaged to be married, and her youngest daughter, Lauren Townsend, is ripped from her by Klebold and Harris at Columbine.
I remember being impressed with this movie when I saw it last year, how it managed to give us the whole fighting-through-life-with-the-help-of-her-amazing-kids storyline without being saccharine or schmaltzy about it. So when it was on TV last night, I kept it on because we're in the midst of the summer TV drought of decent shows, and with the beers I was imbibing, I thought I could use a little uplift. Thing was, I'd forgotten about the Columbine link until it was almost on top of me, as the youngest daughter is walking away from Mom's car with a friend in a Columbine letterman's jacket. I was surprised that it happened back in 1999. I'd forgotten that the little bastards killed themselves and saved taxpayers the trouble of doing it for them. How in the world do you reconcile yourself to a death that random? I really need to compile thoughts like these into a book of essays, because there's a bunch of different tangents going off in my head, as I sort through the impact that movie had on me. How sad that the movie and not the act itself is what I remember. And how easy it is to forget.
There's still this cold spot in my belly as I think about it. I really need to get a copy of the Pagan Book of Living & Dying (M. Macha NightMare & Starhawk). I've always had a problem with the concept of death; not a fan of the fact that we can't remember what happens from one life to the next, plus the implied/assumed permanence of it, and I think that's one concept I need a grip on before kids enter the picture, so that I can eventually let them outside the house without going apoplectic. Probably smart, since I already recognize that one of the reasons I want to homeschool them is to shield them maybe too much from what's "out there."
Four-day weekend...four-day weekend...four-day weekend...
Meara's been making fun of me for watching Westerns this week (Broken Trail this past weekend and Deadwood last night), so I thought this piccie would be appropriately vexing for her ::snickers:: graphic courtesy of http://www.webshots.com
Again, fairly average week, not much to report. FINALLY started a 2nd ball of laceweight on the SSS, right around row 100. Enjoyed brews this week more than once, but I'm hitting a turning point on 'em again, I think. Unfortunately, I have my dad's appetite for alcohol and my mom's constitution for it. This means when I crave a 6-pack, I can drink a 6-pack and feel no hangover the next day. I feel like the poster child for alcoholic denial. Never mind that I want to be healthier and making babies, never mind that I shouldn't touch the stuff with the meds I take, never mind that I'm an f*ing depressive to begin with. It's not about logic.
Needless to say, I'm going to enjoy a simple night of coffee and...with the gals tonight (and robbie). The ole SSS is finally starting to look like something, and I've got an inch or so going on the base of Beach which, at 280 stitches to a row, feels like an accomplishment. Knitting a sweater in the round is like channeling The Little Engine That Could or something...
Couldn't decide which illustrated me more, belly or buns, so went with all three on the Big Girl Knits button that should be showing up at left. I'm really looking forward to trying a couple of those patterns!
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
How can people see pictures like this and still want to drill in the Arctic?
Better today; last night was just brutal though. Gotta be PMS. Went from the attitude of that last post, to Smokers Express to buy cancer sticks for the husby and had to listen to a conversation involving the realism of TV wrestling vs. those small claims court shows. Never mind that it took $15 to fill the tank halfway. By the time I got home, I was like, don't touch me, where's the beer?
Today was free food at work (pre-4th of July picnic) and sitting outside at lunch helped; sat really still so that I could feel the light breeze on the hair on my arms. It's getting damn hot out there, but when you quiet yourself, the mind-over-matter thing is still possible. Also I asked for Monday off, so I have a 4-day weekend to look forward to. Meara's coming home for a quickie break; might take in a flick with her and Mom.
One very neat thing: I emailed Amy Singer of Knitty last week because I had a question about a pattern and couldn't figure how to reach the designer, Jillian Moreno. Hadn't heard back from her, so I did some more digging for Jillian's email addy, since she and Amy also wrote Big Girl Knits recently, and was able to email Jillian directly about my question last night. Had an answer by this morning, so I'm definitely starting Folly with the rest of the blasted Wool Ease once I can invest in the circulars, hopefully this weekend. In the meantime, all my in-the-round things (SSS, base of Beach, and sleeve of Beach) are keeping me busy.
graphic courtesy of http://www.defendersofwildlife.com/
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
"Boys, in 16 months and 4 days, I intend to be barbecuing in my backyard in Hannibal, Missouri, with my wife. Why are you wetting on my charcoal?"
~ Colonel Potter
Not much to write today; just one of those days where I'm a little too bored and the little person in my head is screaming "YOU'RE WASTING YOUR LIFE IN THIS CUBE, LES NEEDS A JOB, AND IF YOU TWO DON'T START TRYING FOR A BABY SOON, YOUR OVARIES ARE GONNA DRY UP AND FALL OUT!"
Ah. That feels better.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Believe me, this ain't jealousy. I can't understand the purpose of people like her, except to make us Americans look bad. Like we need her help in that department with Bush in office...I'm sure she's a nice person, but to the intelligent bystander (me!), she's vacuous beyond comprehension.
Fairly lazy weekend; again, it's the baby steps that give me that feeling of accomplishment. Purged the dressing area around the bathroom sink of dust, hair, half the beauty accoutrements that don't get used, and did laundry. Whew! I'm spent :)
Got myself in the mood for Westerns yesterday; AMC played Open Range and The Man from Snowy River (sigh!) to market their new Robert Duvall vehicle, Broken Trail. Damn decent story so far, 2nd half's tonight. But getting back to Man from Snowy River...where the heck has Tom Burlinson got to, and why isn't he posing nekkid somewhere?! I think I need to own that movie...
Work's so dead, they sent us home til lunchtime. I'm pretty sure it's due to a new phone system being put in at our sales center in Washington, rather than an unexpected drought in website sales. We should be back to being behind sometime tomorrow.
Friday, June 23, 2006
I need to store up these feelings, because soon it really will be too hot to go outside at lunchtime without creating some serious stink. As Junes go in Florida, this one's been average. Supposed to get up to 92 or so today, but it didn't feel like it, even with the breeze having taken a leave of absence. Only reason I didn't stay out longer was the damn ants eating my ankles alive.
Pray for rain, y'all, and enjoy your weekend!
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Not something I've ever been able to do...I've hated Florida for about 15 years now, but somehow the knowledge that I have it in me to orchestrate our egress from this blasted state is creating a renewed tolerance for it. I've been sitting outside at lunchtime. To your average Floridian, I'd be considered nuts, but in all honesty, it's not that bad if you sit in the shade and listen to the air. There's still a breeze and the cloud cover keeps the sun from being unbearable. I sit and listen and read, and find myself channeling all this fantastic energy once I'm forced back inside. It puts a silly smile on my face, makes it a little hard to contain my body, which wants to break into a run around the building. So I try to store it away for later, when the sleepies hit mid-afternoon. Actually I don't get sleepy of late, just hungry, because I've been eating healthier all week for some reason and staying away from the sodas. Just drinking my fruit juice at lunch has me feeling more in touch with nature.
I also performed a simple solstice ritual last night. Wish it could've been more for Summer Solstice, and outside for that matter, but I made do. The great thing though, was the protection spell I conjured for my family; again, my attempts at visualization were entirely successful, and I came away from it feeling so strong!
Embrace the summer, gang!
graphic courtesy of http://www.thomashawk.com/
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Where the heck is Yahoo! today? Don't those people realize that they've thrown my whole day outta whack by not allowing me to check my email and connect with my peeps? Did I really just write that sentence?
I hate when sabbats fall on a workday. I was going to wake up for sunrise this morning and trance, but with the way I've been sleeping, I knew it wasn't realistic and reset the alarm. The one sabbat where it's like, pivotal to wake up with the sun and I can't pull it off. I'm not ticked with myself, because I know I needed the sleep; I'm just ticked in general. I think I need to do ritual outside tonight to make up for it. Maybe at the little park off of Old Kings...
Wonderful surprise yesterday; Christy stopped by work and we got to catch up! Such a relief; hugs, a little crying, and a good step toward shoving away that thing hanging out there. She's taking classes to get her GIA certification (jewelry making), and gave me the most wonderful bracelet, made of garnets, rose quartz, and moonstones. The ice is broken, and thank goodness, because we're about to lose long distance phone again. Seems ridiculous that St. Augustine is considered long distance; whatever happened to just dialing 1 and then the number for calls that were nearby long distance? Am I showing my age by asking that?
Did just a bit of work on SSS and Beach last night...that's the problem with long-rowed projects, you finish 1 row and it's like, ok, I'm bored, new project. May start a sleeve for Beach too, so that I've got something else to turn to in times of boredom. Got 2 balls of sock yarn from Miss Carrie last week at KB, but I think I'll offer 'em back to Steph, because I know socks aren't in my immediate future, or if they are, they're with the purple striped yarn that I've never finished. I'm thinking of talking myself into ripping out my L O N G shaft of sock that I started and starting over with a K2P2 rib instead of single. We'll see...
Merry Solstice everybody!
graphic courtesy of http://www.webshots.com
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
I should call this whole blog "Vent;" that's what it is half the time. But hey, it helps my sanity, and that's the important thing.
Living in an apartment complex has its drawbacks. Living in an apartment complex with no built-in washer/dryer connections is a pain in the tush. We live right in the middle of our complex, which normally means schlepping the laundry to the top or bottom of the complex to one of the two not-quite-ample laundry facilities that the management company was kind enough to grace us with. These are equipped with those commercial washers and dryers, which are operated with a makeshift credit card that you add money to. Given the colorful diversity that makes up my neighborhood, these machines have seen better days.
We'll now pause for a moment of irony: my apartment HAS built-in washer/dryer connections. The complex put them in months ago and then proceeded to appropriate the dough for the machines toward the renovations that are occurring on the entire complex. We can't put in anything ourselves until the city inspectors come to look over the work. In other words, we should be moving out next April before that happens. I asked the assistant manager yesterday about the washer/dryers; she just started laughing before she could help herself.
So it was with sunny intentions that I went down last night to start 2 loads of laundry. Had plans to do 4 loads last night. I start one washer fine, then the other. The 2nd one, it turns out, is out of order with no sign posted on it to this effect--it's not agitating. Terrific. So I add detergent to the next machine in the hopes of transferring the load from the bum washer. Slide the card in--Card Error. Try again, same response. Examine card, must've gotten it wet. Dry it off copiously with my shirt, not an easy thing since it's 110% muggy in that laundry room. Try again. And again. And again. Try another machine. Start to get those giggles that you get when your frustration is reaching sub-human proportions, kind of like Denis Leary's character in The Ref.
Ok, fine, the 2nd load just won't spin; at least it'll get a good soak and rinse. Hope it burns out the f*ing motor on the damn thing. I hop back home to inform husby of the difficulties and wait out the wash cycle. Elect not to bring down any more wash, because of the sinking feeling that the card ain't gonna work for the dryers either.
Hate it when I'm right. Have you ever tried carrying 2 loads of WET laundry up a flight of stairs? I hoisted it onto my shoulder waitress-style (discovered the ease of carrying laundry baskets this way quite recently...been living without washer/dryer for oh, 10, 11 years now ::sigh::), and I still sounded and felt like I was re-enacting the training scene from Rocky IV. Les jumped into action and we rigged a clothesline from the bathroom to the closet for the light stuff, and put the heavier stuff on hangers. Given the dynamics of our apartment, it'll take a solid day or so for everything to dry.
Now I get to go to my management office and sweet-talk them into giving me a fresh card and my money back; I had nearly $15 on that card, so I anticipate a song-and-dance about them not having enough petty cash on hand--it's happened before. But what can I do? It's an inconvenience; nothing more.
Except dream of SC, where our next abode, be it apartment or rental house, will HAVE f*ing washer/dryer connections that we can operate!
graphic courtesy of http://web.mit.edu/seagrant/edu/res/nemo/index.html#peach
Monday, June 19, 2006
When DID I find time to model this shot?
JK, this is from Knitty, and the model has on my latest attempt to get rid of some of the blasted Wool Ease. It's a REALLY simple looking sweater knit in the round. My base will be Blue Mist (heathered navy blue) and the variegated section and sleeves will be in Heather Rose; only the 2 best colors to go with my eyes (she remarked immodestly). Might do the Blue Mist on the cuffs and collar, haven't decided how dorky that'll look yet. The only problem I can see is just how simple it is; the base is knitted in stockinette in the round for 16" or until you shove a knitting needle in your eye out of boredom.
I need a new pair of Doc Maartens; wonder if I can borrow hers?
Funny thing though, there's something about working with bamboo needles in medium sizes like 7s or 8s, that just chills me out. I poked away on this and on the SSS (in 7s) this past weekend and felt nothing but centered. Put the garter stitch poncho on the size 11s in my hands, and you would've had a different story. But in fairness, I've become a yarn and needle snob of sorts, and that project has enough petroleum in it to fuel my car ;)
Had a decent weekend; caught up on rest, thanks to a bottle of wine on Friday night (heh), and tore into one small section of the living room...just the interior and underneath of one of those dust-catching end tables. Tried Kung Po shrimp for the first time...it's pretty spicy, will only order in future when I'm REALLY in the mood for spicy. You couldn't wash down the spicy with beer like you can with Mexican food. It's scary trying new Chinese dishes; they're just so different. I NEVER ate Chinese when I was growing up (or vegetables for that matter), and my folks' idea of Chinese was Chun King Chow Mein in a can. ::shudders:: I digress...anyway, hoping to hit the VCR tape bookcase and CD area this week, get the CDs closer to the actual stereo so we'd, ya know, play them occasionally.
Summer solstice this Wednesday and not a moment too soon...I need to bury the talismans from my healing spell last week in a fresh plant and create a protection spell for a separate party. I'm going to try my darnedest to perform ritual at sunrise on Wednesday, outdoors someplace. Beach would be perfect of course, but I don't think I want to spend the gas. Then again, the city parks don't open before 7 a.m., so beach will probably be best.
Happy Monday, y'all!
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Working a website called Smashing Jewels. Female jewelry designer. Is it just me or does that company name suggest that she just got done with a bad divorce or something? Sounds therapeutic.
What's weird is I'm not currently harboring any animosity toward the opposite sex. That's just the way my mind works.
It's maddening having a nice fat stash, a couple of projects in mind, and knowing that you need new yarn to start said projects. Also impossible to explain to spouse why you need more yarn when you already have plenty...words like gauge, tension, and fiber type fly clear over his head and settle somewhere behind him in the couch cushions. And then he gives you this look that says, just admit you want new yarn. Well, YEAH, that's what we were just talking about, but see, this yarn would have a set purpose (until I change my mind mid-project)... I guess that's what drives people to try and only shop for yarn that they're planning to use for a specific project. I oughta be laying off the sheep fur between now and Columbia anyway. Well, maybe I'll try that, but in the meantime I'm still up to my ears in Wool Ease and White Buffalo.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
I've worked through enough coincidences, deja vus, and "how the hell's..." to consider myself a little psychic. When I smell Half Mile Road, my Nanie's old house, I know it's time to ask about her to my folks again. Once in college, I had this wave of feeling hit me, enough for me to call my folks right there at work and confirm that everything was ok. It was. I got back to the dorm that night and found out that my best friend (at the time) Brian had been in a car accident that afternoon.
So I'm sitting here at work, and I think I may have had a visit from somebody. Out of the blue, it's as though someone else breathes out through my mouth. The taste is slightly different, and it floods me with that "someone's walking over my grave" feeling. It feels like Nanie, and I pray it's not, even though that same apprehension is coupled with a "this is ok" feeling. Like she's close to being between worlds or something. She turns 95 next month, so I certainly wouldn't fault her for taking a dip into the netherworld here and there as she gets closer to it; I'm just selfish and not ready to give her up.
Hair on the back of your neck standing up? Yeah, mine too.
I resisted the urge to email Mom and Meara. It's probably nothing, why worry anybody? My system's low on Paxil at present, could be my brain playing tricks on me. That's rationalizing though; it felt too real. I'll definitely meditate tonight to try and trance myself to a level of exploring what happened a shade deeper.
And then I'll rip out my pink and blue projects, because I keep forgetting that Wool Ease sucks for knitting lace; gotta buy me some real yarn, like from Knit Picks. Is it pay day yet?
graphic courtesy of http://www.globalherbalsupplies.com/herb_information/aloe_vera.htm
Will wonders never cease? Granted, it's the only thing I've managed to keep alive on that porch without serious sun damage, but I really thought that I'd be facing some sad looking plants when I got off work yesterday. Instead, the rain was exactly what that potting soil needed to give it the necessary density to hold my fragile fronds. And the water did wonders for every pot; their color was starting to pink up from all the sun, but I faced some nice green aloe in the 4 transplant pots and even a new baby or two poking its head above the soil.
Big boy Sylvester surprisingly, is the one needing a little TLC. He's comprised of 2 quite large plants in a big-ass pot, but it's evident that from the manner/direction he's growing, he's about to seriously outgrow the pot on one side. His bottom leaves are dying off, which is probably natural, but it still appears that he needs to be separated from his twin. Aloe can survive on shallower pots than I've got (their roots grow laterally rather than southward), but his general size would still be the issue--I will officially run out of room on the porch if I separate them into 2 pots, so I think Mom is going to have to inherit one of them. Better to cut some of the cord now, since at the rate I'm going, all the KBers will be gettting some aloe before we move to SC next year.
Would love to pass some onto Miss Terra, but when I think about it, all I picture is their minivan packed to the very ceiling with their livelihood that couldn't fit in the moving van, plus the infant and 5-year-old clamoring for attention at every rest stop. I'm thinking plants are low on the list of things meant to survive that cross-country trip. She put some beautiful pictures up on her blog (link at left) of where they're headed; just makes me ache. They're so far north, it was frickin' 42 degrees at 5:30 a.m.! It'll be 6 months before we see those temps here again :(
Crud. I need to focus or I'll spend the whole day reading Columbia, SC websites and trying to plan for next year instead of, you know, editing websites.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
This blog (and graphic) brought to you today by the US Blueberry Council. I picked blueberries for the first time on Saturday; Les and I (yes, folks, the husband woke up at the crack and joined me...I still think it was because he didn't trust me with the new car) hoofed it down to Middleburg to pick blueberries, which I turned into a rather tasty dump cake the next night. Dump cake is a southern concoction normally involving two types of fruit, a box of cake mix, and at least a stick of melted butter. We used the mashed blueberries, a can of crushed pineapple (should've used 2 cans), a box of Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Golden, and a stick and a half of melted butter. Layer blueberries in 13 x 9 pan, add pineapple, sprinkle cake mix evenly over it all, and drizzle the melted butter evenly over that, trying to wet as many dry spots as possible. Bake at 350 for about a half hour or until the top is golden brown. Probably not an ounce of nutritional value, but damn, is it delicious!!! I only wish we had vanilla ice cream to go with it :)
It dawned on me around 4:00 a.m. today (Tuesday) , as the winds of Alberto were pummeling our little apartment and soaking us with rain, that I forgot to take all the aloe down from my porch ledge.
Granted, aloe is a tropical plant, so I'm sure to a certain extent it's used to this kind of weather. But it's also a succulent, which I think means it's susceptible to drowning once it's all filled up with as much water as it can take. Hell, that's probably true with any plant. I know the one in the biggest pot is probably safe, but the others, the ones who've been trying to take root in straight, not-nearly-dense-enough potting soil, will probably reach floating capacity this afternoon.
You know it's time for a new computer when.....was all set to download a new stole pattern from my Yahoo email last night, because I fell in love with it and wanted to start it (because I'm into stoles right now apparently, and a big chicken in that the stoles aren't nearly as intimidating as those shawls that start from the center top back with like, 8 stitches...apparently you can't think too hard when you're starting those, but if you just follow the instructions, it works out--kind of like turning the heel on a sock). Umm, where was I...oh yeah, thing is, if I'd left my computer to download it last night, I think it would've been finishing up right about now (it's 9 a.m. the next morning). Holy craptastic, it was slow! So I printed it out at work, but that has its own level of suckiness because the paper that it's printed on is practically unreadable in black and white. There's no pleasing me.
Performed full moon ritual on Sunday night, for the first time in an age; really helped bring me back into my witchy self. I performed a healing spell for a friend of a friend, and the visualization was as good or better as the one I performed to protect Cyril when I thought he was heading to Iraq. My friend Katherine's friend, Spring, has cancer. I met her at Kath's college graduation and her wedding; nice girl. Her bonehead doctors thought it was ovarian, performed a hysterectomy, and assaulted her body with chemo only to discover that it was actually colon cancer, which had spread to parts unmentionable. Now that she's had reconstructive surgery to fix that mistake, and spent the last 5 months being treated for the wrong cancer, now they're finding spots on her liver and lung. There's gotta be a lawsuit in there somewhere, but in the meantime, she has 2 boys, ages 5 and almost 2, who'll probably lose their mom far too early.
The visualization was excellent though (wish I could write about it, but I'm superstitious about that. It's like telling a birthday wish after blowing out the candles; I'm afraid it tempts fate somehow. Suffice it to say that it was powerful.), and silly me, I forgot to ground afterwards, so it took me forever to fall asleep, but I think I was still riding the good feelings from that ritual well into the next day. Pulled out Silver's To Light a Sacred Flame, because she has a great method for rededicating yourself in there, and I've pulled out Starhawk's Spiral Dance to bone up on the basics. I'm glad Solstice is just around the corner; I keep skipping holidays and then wondering why I feel so lapsed--that'll be the perfect time to rededicate myself.
But first, earning the ole paycheck :(
Friday, June 09, 2006
On Saturday, June 5, 1982, Mom and Cyril went on a Boy Scout trip to the Peabody museum in New Haven, CT. Dad and I headed to New Milford to run errands. Meara was an egg. We get to Lake Waramaug and Dad has to pull over because he's feeling sick. He proceeds to have a violent seizure. I scream and run to the nearest house, but nobody's home and we live in BFE. Dad recovers and begins to drive again, but by Marbledale (15 minutes down the road), he's feeling faint, so he pulls into a diner (backing the car into a space! the man is a testament to anal retention) and tells me to call an ambulance. In my best grown-up manners, I explain his symptoms over the phone, and I make sure I explain everything I witnessed in detail when we get to the hospital. The docs decide with their limited technology that it looks like an aortic aneurysm and make arrangements to get him to Yale-New Haven immediately for further treatment.
The Yalies perform successful open heart surgery on Dad in the wee hours of the morning to repair a dissection of the ascending aorta, a tear in the lining of the walls of the aorta that requires a Dacron graft and full bypass. This is the condition that kills more people than it keeps, including Lucille Ball and John Ritter, so I consider it kind of miraculous that Dad survived the 45 miles to New Haven in the back of an ambulance, never mind that the New Milford doctors had the foresight to diagnose it so closely as to give the Yale doctors a direct focus on the problem. Dad was 42. I was 12.
24 years later, Dad may be a stroke waiting to happen, but that heart of his seems to be operating on a lifetime warranty, nary a twinge since. Facing a parent's mortality at any age is hard, but to have it become a "just kidding" is almost harder because then you're looking over your shoulder, waiting for the other shoe to drop. But then God gave us Meara a year later, and it was like, ok, that's why he was allowed to live. And all four of us poured the love we weren't able to communicate to each other, into her, and we all grew a little. I can't begrudge God for the vehemence of her life lessons, not when it results in something like Meara. The kid still radiates light to me.
So I pray with all my heart that we're celebrating 25 years next June with Dad, and that I remember not to take life for granted so much in the meantime.
I really am a blonde sometimes. Technically I've always had the delightfully thick chestnut brown you see on me in person (sneaky little bastard greys notwithstanding), but my mom's a (former) blonde, so it stands to reason that the traits would occasionally sneak into my psyche.
Been growing my hair out for an age now, and with summer upon us, my patience is near its end. I've been forced by circumstance (lack o' car, lack o' dough, etc.) to put off getting the mop trimmed for weeks now, but was warning Les that the layers were probably on their way out, as they make me look rather shagadelic in our Florida humidity. Wasn't going to do anything drastic, just probably bring it back to shoulder length so it could be all one length again and easier to style.
I never had long hair in high school or college, so have been enjoying playing with it when I get the chance, doing different things with braids and twists in an attempt to keep it off my face. Certainly don't look my age, but it gets the job done. Don't know how to French braid though, and had trouble wrapping my mind around doing one braid because my hair's nice and thick and I figured by the time I did figure out how to braid with my arms behind me, they'd be exhausted, so I hadn't tried it. I mean, I've watched Julia Roberts do it in the beginning of Something to Talk About, and have concluded that the woman's a freak. And her hair was way shorter than mine.
Last night I'm putting the mop in a high ponytail in preparation for KB and it dawns on me that if I flip my head down, I'll be able to braid easily because there won't be that crossed-wire thing between my brain and my hands--I'll be braiding frontwards. I try it and not only is it easy, but since the braid is high, there's no sprigs sticking out from my layers because at that position, the hair's basically all one length.
I'm far too pleased with myself over this discovery.
Did it again this morning for work, and it hadn't turned difficult overnight. Sweet! This one extra style could save the mop from getting hacked. I'm still having fun with it, it truly hasn't been this long since like, 7th grade, and there's a comfort factor to long hair somehow; but when push comes to shove, I know I'm a short-haired girl at heart. I fully expect to trim it significantly once we start procreating, but in the meantime, I'm going to enjoy it.
Yeah, we'll see...
Finished the potato chip scarf last night. Figured out that I was actually using 29" circulars, not 32s, so it makes sense now why I ran out of room so quickly. Just as well; binding off 437 stitches was wearing on my patience--it was the only thing I worked on last night and I was hoping to start another one of my lace projects. I did restart the feather and fan scarf with the virgin wool; ripped out the first attempt after an education on the lack of give that 100% virgin wool has--gotta keep the stitches looser. This weekend I'll start Candle Flame and Janet hopefully and put some more time in on the SSS. And go blueberry picking with the gals hopefully. And catch the Prairie Home Companion movie (graphic courtesy of http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/). And drag Les out to the beach for an excuse to drive our beeyootiful new car :)
Thursday, June 08, 2006
It's official; I've become one of those people I used to sneer at in college.
Truth be told, I've been this way for a while; it's just more apparent today. The news today is all about how al-Zarqawi, the current leader of al-Quada in Iraq, was blown up in a US Air Force raid overnight. Journalists and world leaders alike are hailing this as good news, a step in the right direction. We murdered a murderer, saving countless lives and giving us a window, however small, of upper hand in the war on terror. Yay, us.
The problem with reading books like Starhawk's Fifth Sacred Thing, is you get tricked into thinking that the world could be like that, a peaceful existence where everything is decided by true community involvement, where guns are unnecessary, a non-factor. Not in this lifetime.
I used to believe in the death penalty. I used to see actions such as al-Zarqawi's murder as a step in the right direction. Not anymore. I have much more respect for the forces that brought Saddam Hussein in alive. The level of restraint that was called for, to resist the urge to put a bullet in the head of the butcher of Baghdad, so that he could stand trial and answer for his crimes. Makes me wonder if al-Zarqawi was a cleaner criminal, if they knew they didn't have the evidence necessary to bring him to court or the Hague, so they figured this was the next best option. No, I doubt that much thought went into it. They saw an opportunity and took it.
I just don't believe in the murder of another human being anymore, any human being, even one who's slaughtered untold numbers of other humans. When we kill, we decrease our own humanity; we lose something vital of ourselves with every life we take. When I heard the news and other world leaders calling al-Zarqawi's death "good news," I was mortified. How twisted that a death can be considered good news...
Ah, probably just hit me so strongly because I didn't get enough sleep...woke up tired this morning, felt like I should be wearing a sign around my neck that says "I'm out of bed and dressed. What more do you want?" It'll be nice to hang with my bitches tonight.
(graphic courtesy of http://www3.iath.virginia.edu/sixties/HTML_docs/Exhibits/Track16/make_love.html)
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Not crazy about heights, so don't know how I'd do actually riding a wump; looks a little precarious. But I was thinking how it was hump day, and that got me thinking about Mr. Gump, because I have a great deal of the text of One Fish, Two Fish...stuck in my head for eternity. Certainly not a bad thing.
The funny thing: found this graphic online at the Lerner Research Institute, Department of Biomedical Engineering website. Some doctor uses the wump concept as an illustration of how gene splicing can create adaptive species; I think to oversimplify it ridiculously, he's implying that by splicing genes from a 2-hump wump and a 3-hump wump, you could conceive a 5-hump wump. Wonder if Seuss had any idea how far beyond a child's imagination his ideas traveled.
Anyway, doing better today. When there are specific tasks to be performed, when there's focus in my head, life tucks along better. Decided on yarns for the shawls I want to try last night, but spent the evening working on a potato chip scarf in LB Homespun. Tonight I'm going to try to call Christy so I'm accepting now that significant time will be taken away from knitting. I shouldn't say taken away; Christy and I were best friends back in the day, since like 6th grade, and now that she lives so close (St. Augustine), it's ridiculous that we don't see each other often. Well, given gas prices at present, it's not that ridiculous, but still...when my phone went down back in March and ended up stretching til end of April, we just stopped talking and to quote a line from "American President," "now there's this thing hanging out there." There's other issues behind our drift that've forced us to redefine our relationship in recent years--like my becoming a witch and her becoming a born-again Christian--but we've been at this too long to let it shut down. I hope I can reach her tonight.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Not wigging out or anything...all it means is it's harder to concentrate because my brain's running quite a distance ahead of me. It's out in front, thinking about more topsoil for the plants, taking apart my bike and starting the de-rusting, rereading key areas of Spiral Dance while also reading the parts of Evolutionary Witchcraft that coincide with those areas, downloading the paperwork so Les can get his SS card replaced, dinner tonight, starting new knitting projects, and writing a letter to the Columbia Park & Rec to see how realistic it is for me to be trying for their ranger positions down the road or if I need to educate myself somehow before applying. For starters.
And this is all while I'm editing websites at work.
I'm restless as hell, so I'm channeling it, or trying to. Got stuff accomplished last night; planning to do more tonight. All that time in SC was a tonic, but it also stirred up my old rambling nature and my desire to be somewhere that ain't so citified. Oh, I know, Jacksonville is no NYC; but we've lived in this same apartment for 8 years now...it's gotten old.
I never really wanted to move to Jax back in the day, considered it the armpit of Florida, besides being the domicile of my parents (one of which wasn't even speaking to me back then because I was shacked up with my man)...but AMC wouldn't transfer me to Atlanta, Orange Park 24 was just opening up, and Jax was familiar. Graduated college and spent my first year on my own just down the street from where I live now, so I knew the area. I've grown to tolerate it certainly, and the gang I hang with now gives me a huge warm fuzzy, but alas, I'm not meant to raise urchins in Florida; I'd be miserable. I need me some cold weather, more sidewalks, less traffic...and about 14 more idealistic notions of how I want my life panning out in the near future.
Not too much to ask.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Hey Mom Nature? Just wanted to thank you for starting hurricane season right on time. I can't remember the last time the 3:00 p.m. rains started with such precision. If you don't mind, we could really use a continuation of this trend. The retention ponds in our complex are down to about half capacity, and I think one of the ducks in my apartment complex gave me the finger the other day. Plus with the way the storms dodged us here in Jax last year, I know we're living on borrowed time, and I just don't want to spend the dough on the Red Cross recommended hurricane preparedness stuff. Ah, no matter. Even though we apparently don't live in an evac zone, I know if Jax got hit by a Category 5, Les would be packing the car and taking us up the coast. "Dude, they say we don't hafta..." "Shut up, take a cat case, and get in the car..."
I'm a very lucky person in that I am not well endowed. Even with the extra weight, my cup size never increased beyond being able to actually fill out a B now. Sad, but true. This means that with an extra/over shirt on hand, I can get away with ditching the bra at work. Jealous of me?
The urge hit today to reconnect with my faith. This spring has been fairly busy, and I find myself feeling detached. I can't even keep an altar in the house at present, because a) there's too much frickin' excrement in our house, and b) unless it was on an eye-level shelf beyond the jumping span of Figaro, the little shit would most certainly scatter anything I had on there to the four corners of the apartment. Sitting outside and hugging my tree at SC helped, but that was more for relaxation than getting in tune with ole Mom Nature. At home, I did succeed in transplanting Sylvester, the aloe, but his baby pots need more soil and less extreme weather conditions, judging from their color. This spring was hot and dry, and hurricane season hit right on schedule, so everything went from parched to drowning overnight. I'm going to have to move things around out there.
The fern has burned to a crisp in the spring sun, so I'm going to have to trim him down to nothing and nurse him back up. I'm throwing in the towel on the jade; may have to pull out the trumpet for a round of taps on that one, he put up a good fight.
Anyway, in addition to my sad attempts at green thumbing, I'm going through my books again to see what needs reading or rereading. I need to reconnect with why witchcraft is so right for me as a faith. In spite of the neo-Pagan bent of these pantheons, Reclaiming and Feri still speak volumes to me and open up possibilities to my psyche that I hadn't expected to ever explore.
Husby is home! Husby is home! Great day in the mornin', husby is home!
It's funny...I can putter along perfectly fine without him and think I don't miss him, but then when I get him back, I just wanna slobber all over him like a big puppy dog :)
Too much sharing?
Anyway, he's back, he's legal, and he came with wheels. I was driven to work this morning in a clean-smelling car with an engine that purrs so quietly at stoplights, it's unnerving. I got to drive it last night for the first time, and it's so smooth it's unreal. I mean, I'm not the smoothest stick-shift driver on the road, and even my bad habits couldn't get this thing to jerk between gears. I am very happy.
Put the stuff in the mail this morning to get myself legal finally. Will spend this week laying out a budget for the rest of the year and figuring out ways to pay off our worst bills, the ones that would keep us from moving. Since all the paperwork was drawn in SC and our records are remarkably (luckily, bafflingly, god-shining-down-on-us) clean on the road the last couple of years, the payments and insurance are an absolute song, thank goodness.
Been dying for a haircut for weeks now, so naturally we're almost out of money again and it isn't an option until the next check. I'll experiment with styles, more braids n' stuff; I mean, I'm frickin' 36, how much should I care how it looks? In this heat, all I want is it off my neck.
Damn arthritis has been bothering me, but I'm gonna keep walking somehow; I know just those short trips to the store and stuff this past 2 weeks were really good for me. The heat's not ghastly yet in the mornings, and I know I have more energy.
Cleaned house a little this weekend. We live in such a state of clutter and a bit too much furniture, that cleaning our place is like taking a garden spade to a quarry. It can overwhelm you fast if you don't take it in stages, so that's what I did, just getting the old newspapers into piles, putting the most recent Goodwill stuff in the way so it'll go out to the car this week, reorganizing the clothes that're out because we don't own decent dressers. Tonight's laundry and Everwood, so later this week will be tucking into other areas, like the dust-catching end tables that we inherited from my folks, and doing another sort-and-file of the paperwork in the dining area. Now that the TV season is over, I've run out of excuses; and if there's something I want to watch, well, I'll just lug the crap I'm working on into the bedroom and watch it while I work. I can't be more ready to get our lives on track; the car was a big first step and the time Les spent up in SC helped him see that he's ready to get the heck out of Dodge, er, Jax too. He wants to live near his folks, but he's smart enough not to want to live in the same town; so Columbia should be a soft sell.
But that's still almost a year away, so for now I also want to start another couple of knitting projects, find the disc that Zoe is on (my novel) so I can get the rest of the blasted edit done, and find ways to encourage the husby back into the workforce. He's become rather xenophobic thanks to his bad teeth, and that's not getting remedied until his folks get their 2nd opinion, and we need him working in the meantime. I'm nudging him in the direction of our local vet, they've had a sign up for help wanted for ages.
Guess I should get to work too.....
Friday, June 02, 2006
You'd think a city that boasts the largest land mass area in the U.S. would have a more comprehensive public transportation system.
Must've spent too much money on the downtown skyway that about 3 people use a day.
Don't get me wrong, the skyway's nifty; I'm sure it'll prove useful in a Jacksonville of the future. But what I wouldn't give for more southside bus routes instead.
It's very hard to encourage the husby to stay in SC where he's needed, to help his clueless sister and her equally clueless partner move their stuff into storage because they're a hairsbreadth away from being evicted (and yes, folks, this is the pregnant sister), when the taxicab situation is so unbearable in this town. I've been taking a cab to work and doing a mix of cab or bus to get home at night. Getting to work is easy. Asking a cab to pick me up at my place of business is apparently a clusterf*ck. I'm in a business complex that sits right on St. Augustine Road, but it's apparently beyond their capabilities to find the front of the building in the evenings. Yesterday I called them at 4:10 for a 4:30 cab, gave them the phone number of my place of business and decent instructions for where I'd be (outside, out front, building 200, etc.). 4:30 came and went.
4:45 came and went.
I called them for status and since I hadn't been picked up yet, they said they'd have to put my request in again and to be sure to call in 10 to 15 minutes if it still hadn't showed. The problem is their computer system keeps every single note from your previous calls, and the dispatch office appears to be run by Mensa candidates of the Springfield set. That's a sarcastic, local euphemism for black and white trash. I don't mean to sound racist, but when I'm explaining my location on the phone, and the response is, "ok, where you at?" the snotty white girl in me comes forward.
I call back at 4:55 and my loss of patience must've shown in my voice, because I get transferred to a supervisor. I lower my tone a notch and calmly explain that I originally called almost an hour ago for a cab that isn't there yet. Her response: "so you at the food court?"
I hung up on her. The cab showed up a minute later. Had to short the guy because the charge machine wasn't working. Didn't feel nearly guilty enough about that.
I much prefer the bus, wish I could take it to work everyday and save money on gas, but alas, I work too far south for it to be feasible. I can catch a Ride Request shuttle from my work to the Avenues Mall and then catch the S1 up to my complex, but the chances of those two schedules coinciding without forcing me to stand around for an hour someplace are slim. Screw it! Friday night with no husband in town, I'm a woman of leisure--I'll grab dinner at the mall and wait for the bus. A cab ride with tip is costing me between $18 and $20 on average; the bus is $2.75. Needless to say, it's maddening that I can't take the bus all the time. Cannot wait to get legal (paying off some tickets to get my license renewed) and get our car, our new, gently used, beeyootiful Nissan sedan with the CD player, cruise control, and little hidey space for sunglasses, back home with me! Haven't even driven it yet; it was such a step up from the Saturn, that I didn't want to set my ass in the driver's seat until I was legal. But my goddess, a car is necessary in this town! Even if I was in shape to hoof it the 3.5 miles from the Avenues to my house, there's no sidewalks to speak of from the mall to Baymeadows Road, which means uneven terrain, breathing in exhaust, and a din of car noise that makes it very hard to have yourself a relaxing walk.
Les finally admitted last night that he's ready to work toward moving up to SC!! I'm gonna spend the weekend figuring out how to make it happen in Columbia.